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Curious, Convinced, Committed

March 18, 2012

Which one are you? Curious, convinced, committed? What’s the difference and what am I talking about?

The curious are those that had heard about this Jesus. Everywhere He went while He was on earth there were hundreds, if not thousands, following Him. The multitudes would cram in just to hear or see this man. They were told he might be a prophet. They heard He had done great miracles like raising the dead or feeding thousands with one kid’s lunch. There were rumors He could heal with just a touch or a word. People even said He might be the king that would free them from Roman rule. They wanted to see what He was all about.

We see this all the time in churches. People come in and visit. They almost never stay. The truth of the matter is they’re curious about this Jesus. Whether they would ever admit it or not, they watch the lives of christians to see if there is anything different about us … to see if Jesus really did change us. All too often they look and see nothing different from themselves. They see people who struggle with the same things they do, no peace, no power, no love, and if that’s really Jesus, they figure they’re just as good without Him.

Then there are the convinced. They came out and saw the miracles. They saw the healings. They were there when he fed the multitudes. When He confounded the religious pharisees, well, that was just the icing on the cake. This Guy is more than just a teacher or prophet. He must be. But when He told them to forsake all and follow Him, well, that was more than they bargained for. Besides, they’re way too busy to be able to follow all the time.

How many times have you seen people come into church and get “on fire” only to be gone in just a few months. They were once drawn to Jesus like a moth to a flame and now at the mention of His name you can see their eyes sadden as they feel overwhelmed by guilt. Like the rich young ruler, they couldn’t let go. Money bought comfort and an easier life. But Jesus said there was no place for the Son of Man to lay His head. So when Jesus said go and sell all you have and follow me, he wouldn’t make that kind of sacrifice for his soul. Most people aren’t willing to give up their posturepedic mattresses to sleep on a sleeping bag in a third world country. Most won’t walk away from their 52″ flat screen televisions to feed the homeless at the local shelter. And sadly, most won’t even consider talking to their closest neighbor about this faith that has “changed them”.  We’ve got too many things to do.  Sundays are our only day to rest … surely God understands.  Actually, no.  He doesn’t.

The few, the proud, the committed. We saw them. They followed Jesus everywhere He went, only they didn’t just hang onto His words, they also allowed themselves to be changed. They believed and obeyed Him when He sent them out two by two. They returned rejoicing and praising Him declaring even the demons obeyed them. And even in their fall (Peter wasn’t the only one that forsook the Lord after Gethsemane), they all came back. The Lord restored them and encouraged them. Before He ascended, He also commanded them to preach the gospel everywhere and make disciples. They had been with Him for three and a half years being discipled themselves. And He didn’t leave them alone, but gave them the Holy Spirit. The world has never been the same.

The committed in our churches have given their lives to Jesus. It was made clear that Jesus meant it when He said to give Him everything. They may have had problems doing that at first, but in time the Lord gently showed them what to give up and gave them the strength to do it. Some of those habits had been controlling their lives forever and yet they were somehow able to lay it down. Folks not only changed how they talked, but how they walked. Suddenly their life has a different perspective … a God perspective — one that doesn’t follow after self, but after God. They are now concerned for their fellow man. The curious aren’t just curious non-christians. They are lost and hell bound without the grace work of Christ. And the committed care about that and want to do whatever it takes to reach them.

Sometimes that means going to a foreign country. Sometimes that means speaking up when someone else profanes the Lord’s name. More often than not, it means doing something to change someone else’s world for the better. Making a sacrifice for others to impact His kingdom.

St. Francis of Assisi said,
“Preach the gospel all the time, use words if necessary.”

Being committed doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes, or sin, or fall. But our heart longs to serve our Father and when we do fall, we’ll be quick to repent and seek His forgiveness. May we all become committed in our relationship with the Lord.

Now, which one are you?

— Pastor Rick

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